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Growing in the Spirit


Sermon shared by Mike Rickman

May 2003
Summary: Christians must be careful to walk in the Spirit of God or else they may revert to their old nature.
Denomination: Assembly of God
Audience: General adults
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will tell you of things to come.
a. If we are truly walking in the Spirit, and the Spirit knows the future, we can rest assured that He will not lead us down wrong paths.
b. ?If we walk in the Spirit you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh? (verse 16). I will go a step further than that.
i. If you walk in the Spirit you cannot fulfill the lust of the flesh.
1. Let?s define flesh.
a. The Greek word, ?sarx? originally meant the soft tissue of the body. It eventually came to mean the whole body. When taken into Christian context it refers to the whole man, which is conditioned by the desires of the natural. Since the natural man or ?the old nature? is born out of the sin of Adam the physical, intellectual, and moral aspects of man has limitations.
i. The flesh is incapable of knowing God apart from special revelation and redemption that removes the barrier of sin.
c. ?For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.
i. If the Spirit of God dwells in you it doesn?t automatically mean that the flesh is put to death.
1. There is a constant conflict.
a. Paul wrote, ?For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.?
b. Remember from my opening statements about Iraq, the people resort to what is natural for them?
c. Our human nature ? the flesh - operates in much the same way.
i. If we are not constantly aware of the prompting of the Spirit in our lives, we will automatically begin to move back to what is natural.
1. What is that?
a. The flesh.
d. For some reason there are some Christians who tend to think you can have it both ways.
e. Look again what Paul says in Romans 8:5-6, ?For those who live according to the flesh (even Christians) set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.?
ii. Because there is a constant battle we must be in a continual state of spiritual awareness. We must be listening for the Spirit?s voice to lead us where we should go.
1. Look out for the caution lights.
d. ?But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
i. What does the Law have to do with anything?
1. Paul is saying that you have a choice. You can either be justified by faith, which brings eternal life, or, you can attempt (even as a Christian) to be justified by the Law, which brings condemnation.
2. If you are led by the Spirit.
a. Saved by grace through faith
3. You don?t have to work for your salvation.
a. I?m not saying you don?t have to do good works.
i. It?s just that those works don?t save you.
ii. If you continue to try to earn your salvation after you have been saved by grace then you make the cross of no effect.
1. Galatians 5:3-4, ?And I testify to every man who becomes circumcised (attempts to be saved by the Law) that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.?
ii. Following the law is in the flesh and is contrary to the Spirit.
II. Works of the Flesh.
a. Paul gives us a list of sins.
i. Verse 19 ? sexual sins
ii. Verse 20 (first two) ? Sins and pagan religion.
iii. Next nine ? sins of temper
iv. Last two sins of drunkenness
b. Not only these sins but also those like them.
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